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D'Addario Gets a New Look

After more than four decades, D’Addario has retired its oval logo and debuted a new design. The new logo, mark and look, which will make its international debut at this year’s NAMM Show in Anaheim, Calif., has been created to communicate the company’s legacy of innovation and dedication to its customers. Jim D’Addario, CEO of D’Addario, spoke exclusively with Music Inc.’s Katie Kailus on the rebranding initiative and what the company’s new brand identity means.

KK: Why did you decide to rebrand now?
Over the last 20 years we’ve acquired a lot of companies. And each one of the individual brand managers was running their division, but we weren’t getting the halo effect of the D’Addario brand and what it stands for. We had no master branding in place.

KK: How did you come across the new branding?
We hired a company in Chicago to do a master brand study where they extensively interviewed all of our employees, artists, consumers, B2B consumers — about 40 or 50 people in all. We gathered information on what D’Addario is about and what our DNA is as a company, business and brand to determine what our brand purpose was. This culminated in a beautiful brand book that became an internal piece designed to be a road map for everyone at the company to understand who we are. In this brand book, we identified six key DNA elements and a brand purpose. That purpose, we discovered, is inspiring performance, be it musical performance or our B2B team’s performance or our customer service performance. That was interpreted into a brand voice, which we will then take to the public and make part of our marketing.

KK: What is the significance behind the new logo?
JD: Along the way we decided that the old logo was a little difficult to utilize and didn’t relate the DNA of D’Addario. So we asked the agency to design a logo mark that our company would stand for, and they developed this new one that will be used for all company identification, products, affiliates and sub-brands.